The ‘real’ me – le Bulletin ‘Conversation’*
The ‘real’ me – Appreciating Beauty & Excellence & other things
This week I was working on a self-development project around my character strengths. I recommend that you read on as there is a link to France and today to Paris in particular.
The idea is that having found your character strengths you learn how to use them to help you through day-to-day life and challenges so as to achieve a more positive personal and professional outcomes. This is no pop psychology, there is science behind it.
Character Strengths are the positive parts of your personality that impact how you think, feel and behave and are the keys to you being your best self.
Your ‘top’ character strengths are said to be the ‘real you’ the you that others see, not that voice in your head.
The real me:
Below I’ve shared my top 7 character strengths & the corresponding VIRTUES.
1. Leadership: An organiser of groups of people
– virtue: JUSTICE
2. Love: Both loving & being loved are important + valuing close relations with others
– virtue: HUMANITY
3. Creativity: Originality, Adaptive, Ingenuity
– virtue: WISDOM
4. Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence: Awe, Wonder, Elevation
– virtue: TRANSCENDENCE
5. Curiosity: Interest, Novelty-seeking, Exploration, openness
– virtue: WISDOM
6. Fairness: Just, Not letting feelings bias the decisions about others
– virtue: JUSTICE
7. Honesty: Authenticity, Integrity
– virtue: COURAGE
And here is where I need you!
Some of you know me better than others but I ask you all – yes each of you.
Are these character strengths the ‘real me’, the ‘me’ you know?
Remember, you’ve agreed to keep me on track in ‘My big challenge‘.
So, now I need to know what you think, which of these do you agree with and which don’t seem me at all?
Here is the interesting tool I used to assess my character strengths it can be found here. If you complete the exercise, please let me know about your character strengths below in comments.
So, next, when I was working on how to use my ‘best self’ character strengths each day, and my focus at that time was on
– 4. Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence: Awe, Wonder, Elevation and
– 3. Creativity: Originality, Adaptive, Ingenuity
I discovered the following…
Paris in April is the Month of Photography
This annual festival, which began in 1980, is ramping up in 2017 and is now set to be twice as big as previous years’ events have been.
With no less than 84 exhibitions taking place all over the city and the Île-de-France, including names such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Willy Maywald, Erwin Blumenfeld, Robert Doisneau, Jean-François Rauzier and oh so much more!
As well as exhibiting their work in galleries and public spaces, the photographers themselves will be present during selected weekends, explaining their process. This is a great opportunity to see some of France’s finest contemporary photographers displaying their art. If you’re in Paris don’t miss it!
But back to my challenge and focus on beautiful things, excellence & creativity…
When exploring the Photography Festival website… I received a message from a member & Paris-based photographer friend Henrietta Richer. Henrietta was announcing that her new website was complete, so of course, I was into that immediately too.
More exploration – more curiosity sated.
Of course, no sooner was I there and drooling over Henrietta’s moody images of nature: seascapes, flowers and fruit (copyright Henrietta richer – see above)… and then my curiosity swings in and I discover her brand new blog.
The blog with only one post so far: “Photographing experiences usually increases positive feelings” the study says!
Ha! Henrietta’s found her audience!
I’d like to share her blog post with you. If you’ve ever thought of yourself as a ‘happy snapper’ and if you’re someone who always has the camera (even smartphone) to your eye instead of enjoying the experience without any devices, then this is for you…
In essence, this study by The American Psychological Association June 9, 2016, finds that people who take photos of their positive experiences, usually enjoy the events more than people who don’t.
This seems counter-intuitive to me what about you? but read on…
Take A Photo For Extra Pleasure
And I quote from Henrietta’s blog post:
“To the best of our knowledge, this research is the first extensive investigation examining how taking photos affects people’s enjoyment of their experiences,” wrote Kristin Diehl, PhD, of the University of Southern California.
“We show that, relative to not taking photos, photography can heighten enjoyment of positive experiences by increasing engagement.”
In the study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology®, Diehl and her colleagues outline a series of nine experiments involving over 2,000 participants in the field and the lab designed to examine the effect of taking photographs of an experience on people’s enjoyment of an activity.
In each experiment, individuals were asked to participate in an activity (e.g., taking a bus tour or eating in a food court) and were either instructed to take photos during the activity or not. Afterward, participants completed a survey designed to measure not only their enjoyment, but their engagement in the experience.
In almost every case, people who took photographs reported higher levels of enjoyment.
While people might think that stopping to take photographs would detract from the whole experience and make it less pleasurable, participants who took photos reported being more engaged in the activity, according to the study.
“One critical factor that has been shown to affect enjoyment is the extent to which people are engaged with the experience… …read the remainder on Henrietta’s new blog & whilst you’re there you can check out her lovely prints for sale.
In April in Paris this year, it seems that there will be even more beauty than usual! The Spring blossoms, the Photography Festival, and of course Paris itself! And now we know that we can get even more from our positive experiences by taking MORE photographs!
Here is our Paris in April 2017: what’s on? article which is where you’ll find the information about the Photography Festival.
I want to hear from you, please
C’est tout pour aujourd’hui – That’s all for today – See you in le Bulletin and the ‘Conversation’ next week.
And, in closing I ask you to let me know in the comments section below: –
1. Are the character strengths above the ‘real me’?
2. If you do the viacharacter.org test yourself – please let me know what you think of it & share it below or email me if you’d prefer: firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: * What is the le Bulletin ‘Conversation’?
– Le Bulletin is the private weekly newsletter for MyFrenchLife.org community members. [Join and you shall receive.]
– Le Bulletin provides your weekend French immersion: our newest magazine articles to help you ‘Frenchify’ your life!
– The ‘Conversation’ is a weekly essay; a conversation of sorts, between Judy & members.
As we are a community comprising many curious Francophiles, myself included, there is no limit to the themes we cover in the ‘Conversation’! Each ‘Conversation contains at least one theme which can range from the meaning of life to French fashion to travel and experiences in and/or from France.
It is intended to be thought-provoking and often takes a philosophical approach to the challenges of life, relationships, careers, self-awareness and self-improvement.
We’re open to theme and topic suggestions and we dare you to disagree!